Karma is a, well karma is unpleasant at times. Reading all of the well deserved praise given to Mike Smith for his work in Atlanta reminded me of a time when good coaching seemed hard to find. To right his ship after the storm that was Jim Mora, Arthur Blank hired college football coach Bobby Petrino to lead the Atlanta Falcons and put the franchise back on course. It was thought that Petrino could guide Vick in the right direction, but Vick’s dog fighting issues rendered that a lost cause. After a 3-10 record, and without any warning, Bobby Petrino left Atlanta to take the head coaching job in Arkansas. He couldn’t cut it in the NFL, he couldn’t adjust, and he just couldn’t compete. Just when things couldn’t get worse for this team after the Mora controversy, dog fighting debacle, and a dismal 3-10 season Petrino walks out. Days before the resignation Arthur Blank praised Petrino; “I feel real fortunate we have a terrific guy leading our team, our CEO..” We were fortunate fools.
Petrino announced his decision to the Atlanta players by leaving a laminated 4 sentence letter in the Falcons locker room. What kind of a leader leaves his post mid battle; a coward can, a pathetic excuse for a man, a frightened fool more concerned about his own pride than the men following him to whatever end may come. 2006 to 2007 were terrible years to be Atlanta fans, dark days of double digit losses. Like me, many of you stood by these dirty birds through the good and the bad years. What a difference a coach like Mike Smith can make for a team, a franchise, a fan base, and the great city of Atlanta. So maybe Karma has her good days too, maybe good things do come to those(fans) who wait, and maybe others get their come-up-ins. Bobby Petrino got his in 2012.
Petrino was involved in a motorcycle accident, but for some reason he gave merky details regarding the incident. As it turns out Petrino had a female passenger on the bike with him; the same particular passenger he admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with. Having lied to everyone, the Arkansas leadership, his team, and worse of all his wife and family Petrino couldn’t get out of this one; he was fired, embarrassed, and ashamed in a scandal of his own making. If a man can’t remain faithful to his own wife, you can be sure he can leave his football team as well. Let’s be happy to have a coach like Mike Smith on board. Rise Up.